Category Archives: Landlord Insurance

Advice for landlords: Five things to remember when renting out a property

With the housing market in crisis, more homeowners are letting out properties they cannot sell. This has led to a number of “accidental landlords” that fail to understand their responsibilities and duties.

If this situation sounds familiar, it’s important to live up to your new role and to protect yourself (and your property) in every way possible – so take a look at these five useful tips:

Take out landlord-insurance

First and foremost, you must take out landlord insurance with a reputable company. This will help protect your rental property against a range of home incidents and emergencies and could save you a lot of money in the long run. Reputable policies cover everything from plumbing and drains to electrical wiring and roof damage, so make sure you read the small print before you sign on the dotted line.

Revamp your property

The competition is tough out there, so revamp your property as much as possible. Give the walls a lick of paint, lay a new carpet (if necessary) and make sure your property is as clean as possible. A few tweaks here and there will give you a higher change of renting your property and will ensure your occupants have a nice, comfortable place to live. Landlords have a duty of care toward their tenants, so try not to cut corners.

Place a suitable advert

Do you want to rent to young professionals or students? Will you allow families or couples? Is your property for smokers or non-smokers? Whatever you decide, you must draw up a suitable advert. State the type of tenants you’re looking for, jot down the weekly rent price and make sure you include a phone number or email address so people can contact you. Advertise on the internet and in local shops and you should find your business starts to thrive.

Interview all tenants

Once you’ve taken out a landlord insurance policy, revamped your house and created your advert – it’s time to interview tenants. This is an extremely important process that must be handled with care. The right tenants will make your life bearable, but the wrong tenants could make your life hell, so take the time to meet each and every individual. Of course, first impressions can be deceiving, but go with your instincts and take your time to choose someone suitable.

Ask for references and deposits

To help with your decision, ask all tenants to provide a reference from a former landlord and employer. This will give you an overview of their character and will help you select an individual with a good background. You should also run a credit check and ask to see a signed contract of employment, so that you know they will pay rent. Finally ask, for a deposit to secure the room and find out more about deposit protection schemes.

Being a landlord can be fun, but it’s important to do things right.

Does your home suffer from subsidence?

Many homes do suffer from subsidence and if you’re having difficulty purchasing insurance get in touch with experienced online brokers who have many years in the business and know just what their clients require. They have insurance partners who specialise in subsidence insurance and make the buying process straightforward to ensure customers find the right cover at the right prices.

What subsidence insurance covers

Buying subsidence insurance means if your property has suffered from landslip, ground heave or the ground moving under it the insurance policy will cover repairs and any reconstruction work. Brokers understand the problems subsidence can cause householders and if repairs are carried out properly the chances of subsidence recurring are quite low. Experts in the insurance business can compare prices for this type of insurance using their database of some of the UK’s leading insurance companies, they will ensure you get the best deal around which could save you money in the long run.

Causes of subsidence

There are many causes of subsidence, one of the most common ones is the shrinkage and swelling of clay soil which in turn causes foundations to crack. Leaking drains are also known to cause subsidence so it’s advisable to keep checking all drains on your property ot make sure they are in good working order. Trees and shrubs too often cause subsidence by shrinking the soil due to soaking up water through their roots especially during the summer months. Do your homework before planting trees or shrubs to find out which species need a lot of water to survive and cross them off your shopping list to help prevent subsidence.

Online brokers offer great solutions

If you need information about subsidence insurance online brokers have all the answers, make contact by e-mail or telephone to find out what a policy covers, how much it will cost and how to renew it. Experienced insurance advisers will do all they can to help clients no matter what their query is, alternatively there’s a huge amount of advice and guidance on the relevant websites about subsidence insurance which makes very interesting reading.

Subsidence is not pleasant to live with and can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, it can happen suddenly and without any warning so buy subsidence insurance now if you haven’t already done so. Get the best policies available on the market now.

The benefits of buying a multi property insurance policy

If you have a number of properties that you are letting out then you may appreciate anything that makes your life administratively easier and possibly also more cost-effective.

A multi property insurance policy just might be just one example of how to start achieving that:

  • if you have a number of properties under management, you may well find the frequent need to check insurance renewal dates and premiums to be one of the less enjoyable aspects of your day-to-day business operations;
  • insurance is something that may prove to be critically important to you but that doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to enjoy having to deal with it;
  • that may be true enough even if you are only letting out a single property but it may be considerably more the case if you have several;
  • fortunately, some insurance providers offer what they may describe as property portfolio insurance;
  • as the name suggests, this means that they will offer cover for a range of your properties under the one policy and administrative structure;
  • the advantages of this may be very real.  For example, you may only have one annual renewal date to worry about, one premium to pay and only one company to deal with as opposed to several;
  • the cost effectiveness may also be improved due to the fact that, as you might expect, insurance providers may offer preferential premiums because they are obtaining a more substantial chunk of business from you than might be the case if you were discussing only a single property with them. In other words, you’ll be a bigger fish in the pond and that is sometimes beneficial in terms of service and pricing;
  • different insurers may offer property portfolio cover under different minimum qualification criteria.  For example, some may insist upon a minimum of four or more properties to obtain such cover, whilst others may have lower thresholds;
  • the basic principles of your rental property insurance cover may not be significantly different to those associated with an individual policy.

Of course, as with the case of individual property cover, it is necessary to read the policy carefully in order to establish that it is suitable for your needs and circumstances.  That should also include, in detail, its terms and conditions.

Shopping around is typically advisable and there may be no benefit in simply jumping for the first policy that you see.

Why there is more to being a landlord than simply getting tenants!

There are a lot of things a landlord has to think about when getting a property ready to be let out – unfortunately, it’s not as simple as getting some tenants in. You have obligations to fulfil and expectations to meet!.

Some of these may be cosmetic in nature, like repainting the property or giving it a good clean out, or the may involve having appropriate landlord insurance in place to help protect your investment.

There are other aspects of any letting that may be legal requirements for landlords, so making sure these are on a list of things to do may typically be a good idea.

Fire safety regulations

There are fire safety regulations in place for furniture and upholstered furnishings including items such as including beds, mattresses, sofas, cushions etc and checking everything over for labels declaring conformity to the standards may typically make sense.

Any furniture made before 1988 may not meet these regulatory standards and your simplest option may be to replace them.

Safety of gas and electric appliances

You may find that you have a legal obligation to have gas appliances checked and serviced annually plus prior to any new let.

You also have to provide your tenants with a copy of a safety certificate for the gas appliances as well as instructions on how to use them.

All electric wiring should also be checked on a regular basis and if you are leaving electrical appliances for your tenants to use these should be checked and serviced.

Tenancy agreement

When you let a property to tenants, you are entering into a legal agreement, which confers certain rights to your tenants as well as their roles and responsibilities – and importantly yours.

To protect everyone’s interests you should insist on the use of a formal letting agreement, which clearly sets out who is responsible for what and under what circumstances. This could save you heartache and problems further down the line.

This agreement should include:

  • how and when the rent is to be paid;
  • how long the period of the let is;
  • the notice period that you or your tenant is require to give to terminate the let early;
  • your responsibilities for maintenance of the property;
  • other charges that may be levied in addition to the rent like service charges, council tax etc.

Deposit

In all likelihood, you might ask your tenants for a deposit prior to them moving in to your property. This would cover the costs of any damage they may cause to the property or cover your rental income losses if they left without giving due notice.

At the end of the rental period, you have to repay the deposit to your tenants (minus any sums retained for valid reasons) and there are a couple of options open to you to ensure that you have this money available if and when it is needed:

  • a custodial scheme, where the deposit is held by an authorised third party;
  • an insurance scheme, where the landlord may be able to retain the deposit and pay an insurance premium.

Having Sufficient Landlord Buildings Insurance

Owning properties is an excellent source of income for landlords. Sure, there are potential headaches caused by some of the tenants that prove irresponsible, but overall buildings are perfect assets for the provision of monthly income.

Residential properties have the potential of being let out as standard residences, or else sublets of single rooms as student accommodation. There is always a demand, particularly if the property you are letting out is near to a college or university. Homes for letting as holiday accommodation are desirable for visitors in the summer season, and depending on the demand in some of the areas, are perfect for short lets throughout the year.

Commercial buildings provide tenants taking longer leases, for use of shops or office. This is particularly worthwhile if the location is in a popular business area where demand is at its greatest.

Nevertheless, the need for landlord buildings insurance is essential. Various policies are available, such as residential landlord comprehensive insurance to cover both buildings and their contents. It is also possible to have comprehensive insurance for holiday homes and second homes that you may have. The standard residential buy to let properties insurance rates are usually very reasonable and most insurance for all types of properties can be tailored and are negotiable for obtaining the best rate.

Benefits of policies

• Commercial and residential policy combinations
• Insurance for houses, bungalows and flats
• Property owner’s liability
• Cover for contents
• Up to 45 days unoccupancy cover is usually included
• Public liability insurance

As a rule, landlord buildings insurance includes cover for hazards such as fire, lightning, flood, earthquake, riot, landslip, theft and malicious damage to property.

Maintaining the properties, you let out in good condition is worthwhile long term. Repairing the odd problems that arise instantly instead of letting them enlarge is always beneficial.

There are no compulsory laws in the UK regarding fire risk or leaking gas, nor is it compulsory to provide fire extinguishers or smoke detectors to tenants. However, it is to the landlord’s advantage to provide as much potential hazard equipment as possible to avoid not only building repair costs but any compensation costs to injured tenants.

Get the right kind of landlord buildings insurance from landlordbuddy

Choosing what you consider to be the best property portfolio insurance

Making sure that your buy to let property is adequately covered by appropriate insurance is obviously an important task for any landlord and one where you may consider it to be time well spent. The good news, if you have more than one property, is that with the best property portfolio insurance cover, your task doesn’t have to be any more difficult or time consuming.

The best property portfolio insurance for you may be a policy specifically tailored to your own unique group of properties and circumstances.  As such what another landlord may consider to be the best multi-property landlords insurance cover for them, may be very different indeed.

Providers of this type of cover may typically be able to offer premium discounts.

It is not just in the area of multi-property cover that you may find that landlord house insurance policies vary from one provider to another.

Loss of income

Some policies for example, may be able to offer you compensation for loss of rental income under certain circumstances where your tenants have to move out of your property if it has been damaged and you need to complete repairs.

This compensation may typically be payable (up to a defined maximum) if the damage to the property was caused by an insured risk like lightning, earthquake, storms and flooding, fires and smoke etc.

Public Liability

Situations may arise where a member of the public is injured or their property is damaged and they claim that this is somehow the fault of your property and perhaps the way that it has been maintained. If they decide to sue you, a court may award significant damages against you.

Public liability cover of up to £5m may be available with some buy to let policies and may also cover legal fees which may be payable even if you win the case.

All types of tenant

If you let your property or properties to a variety of different tenant categories then you may feel that a policy which excludes cover for students or DSS is too restrictive for you and you may appreciate the flexibility that a policy which covers all tenant types may bring to you.

Damage protection

Not all policies these days may offer financial protection for you in cases where your property is damaged by subsidence or perhaps even maliciously by your tenants. If this is important to you, it may be worth looking out for.

What’s best

The best property portfolio insurance can help to maximise your confidence and peace of mind that your assets are adequately insured and if there is the added bonus of reduced administration on your part and premium savings, then so much the better.

Top tips covering landlords insurance

If you are in the process of starting to let out property for the first time, you may find the following tips to be useful when you are considering landlords insurance:

  • remember the principles – typically, if you are using property for the purposes of generating rental income then you are a landlord and will typically require let property insurance rather than owner-occupier cover;
  • do not be misled by rumour and myth – in the event that you had to make a claim, contrary to what some may believe, insurance providers may have sophisticated means of checking the exact occupancy situation of the property concerned. If they find that you have owner-occupier cover for property that has tenants in it (even if they only occupy a part of your property) then you may find your claim is refused;
  • think carefully about your requirements – for example, if you are letting out your property on an unfurnished basis then there may be no obvious reason why you should be paying for buildings and contents insurance when perhaps a buildings only policy may be perfectly adequate;
  • shop around for your landlords insurance – different providers of this type of insurance may have very different elements of cover in their policies and their pricing structures may also be significantly different, with some perhaps being more suitable for you than others;
  • think about tenants/1 – some policies may offer cover against malicious damage caused by your tenants though this is by no means universal in all such policies;
  • think about tenants/2 – remember that if you are successfully sued for damages arising from injuries to one of your tenants, then a court may award very significant sums against you, so having a healthy provision for third party liability cover in your policy may be highly advisable;
  • think about tenants/3 – some policies may offer cover for a loss of rental income if your tenants are forced to move out due to a problem arising which is an insured risk on your policy;
  • do not forget subsidence – the costs associated with serious subsidence problems may be potentially ruinous if you need to pay them out of your own pocket, which is why those policies that provide subsidence cover may prove to be very attractive. Although once commonplace in property policies, it is no longer necessarily always included as standard on all policies providing landlords insurance or owner-occupier home buildings and contents cover.

What’s included in the cheapest landlord insurance quote?

If you are searching for the cheapest landlord insurance quote, you may be concerned whether the cover provided is sufficient for your needs. If that is a worry, therefore, you might wish to consider some of the following observations:

  • cheap is a relative term – what might appear to be the cheapest landlord insurance quote for you might be less so for someone else;
  • much depends, of course, on what you need the insurance to cover and the circumstances surrounding your particular ability to pay the necessary premiums;
  • if price is a factor influencing your choice of insurance provider, therefore, you may wish to pay special intention to exactly what landlord cover you need;
  • in other words, you may wish to avoid certain policies that include in their standard provisions cover which you do not, or are unlikely to, need – otherwise you may end up paying more than may be needed for unnecessary aspects of cover;
  • for example, you may want to ensure that your buy to let property is adequately protected against the major perils of fire and smoke damage, flooding, impacts from vehicles or falling debris, storm damage and vandalism, but is there any risk of subsidence affecting the building?
  • not all let property insurance (or owner-occupied home buildings insurance for that matter) automatically include cover against such a risk;
  • whilst paring down the cover you need to the barest essentials might be a way of making some savings, you might want to make sure that you do not overlook other items that might prove critically useful;
  • by way of example, there may be times when your property inevitably remains vacant (between change-overs of tenancy, say), when special provision may need to be made for the continuation of adequate cover. In that case, you may wish to seek out a separate unoccupied property insurance quote;
  • although a useful way of finding the cheapest landlord insurance quote might be to exclude all those items of cover which no not apply in your particular circumstances, therefore, you may still wish to ensure that adequate landlords cover on your property is maintained at all times.

Landlords insurance online

There’s a lot to think about before a property can be let, especially for the first time. You will probably need to some decorating and DIY, as well as ensuring that the house conforms to regulations and safety standards. You will also need to look for suitable tenants and drawing up contracts that protect you if anything goes wrong in the future.

One thing that mustn’t be forgotten is insurance and with everything else that you have to think about, it is probably most convenient to research and buy landlords insurance online. Even if the house is already insured under a standard policy, it won’t be sufficient cover for when it is tenanted. The standard policy will be invalidated if you aren’t living in the house and you will need additional protection that the extra elements of a landlord insurance policy will provide.

A landlord has different needs to a homeowner who occupies their own home and landlord insurance policies take this into account. An example of this is the structural damage element; a standard policy will cover for fire or floods but a landlord’s policy will also include cover for any malicious damage.

However thorough your process for selecting tenants is, the truth is that you don’t know your tenant and if they deliberately vandalise the house, you will be able to submit a claim if you have a landlords insurance policy; The policy also needs to include such things as fitted bathrooms, kitchens and wardrobes.

A Landlord’s policy for contents covers any of your own furniture that remains in the property; this may include curtains, carpets and white goods, but do check your specific policy details as they differ between insurers and underwriters.

It isn’t likely that a landlord insurance policy will cover your tenant’s belongings but again this needs to be double checked and you should let your tenant know whether or not they need to purchase a policy which will provide them with cover for their own possessions.

The most efficient and cost effective way of discovering exactly what coverage is available and deciding which policy is most appropriate to your needs is by researching and landlords insurance online. Landlord buddy makes an excellent place to start.

http://www.landlordbuddy.co.uk/

Reasons for looking for let property insurance quotes

If you are a landlord then you may be considering looking for let property insurance quotes.

Although home buildings and contents insurance is widely available for owner occupiers or people renting a property, this is typically unsuitable for landlords who require extra (and different) cover to protect their investment.

If you are in any doubt as to whether to begin to search for let property insurance quotes, it may be a good idea to look at some of the main reasons for taking out specialist cover for landlords.

Protect your investment from damage

Wherever your property is located, there is always the chance that it may become damaged by things such as fires, floods and bad weather.

Even if you are a very careful landlord and look after your property well, some things may remain out of your control.

By looking for landlord insurance you may be able to find a policy which provides you with financial protection if the worst comes to the worst and your property is damaged by the elements.

Protect your rental income

If your property does become damaged due to reasons beyond your control, you may end up losing rent because you are unable to let out the property to a tenant.

However, if the property is your main source of income then the results of this may be very difficult to deal with.

You may find, therefore, that suitable buy to let landlord insurance provides you with protection for your lost rent in such circumstances which may help to ease the financial strain. This is often known as landlords rental income cover.

Enjoy greater peace of mind

A property is typically a very large investment, and it may therefore be a sensible idea for you to do everything you are able to in order to protect it.

Buy to let insurance may be able to provide you with cover for a range of situations in which your property may be at risk, allowing you to enjoy more peace of mind knowing that your investment is safe.

Other possibilities

There are some events which may not be covered by a standard landlords insurance policy, but which may be covered on a separate policy.

One of these is unoccupied property insurance, which may be able to provide you with cover if you have to leave your property unoccupied between rents or because you need to carry out repair works.

It may be another way to protect your investment, but remember that this is typically something which is insured separately.

Protect your property

If you are a landlord then it may be a good idea to ensure that you have appropriate cover in place for your property. By looking for suitable let property insurance quotes you may be able to find a policy which is appropriate for your needs to give you greater peace of mind.